Thursday, August 4, 2011
The next morning as I returned from the gym, I was surprised to learn from Pablo that the trip was back on. At about 12:30 in the afternoon, packing reached full swing, with tents, and stoves and other equipment being hauled out of storage and put into the bed of a Daihatsu Dyna truck. As scouts arrived, their bags were staged in the covered area. The bags were piled high atop the gear in the Daihatsu and covered in a hurry with tarps against momentary, heavy rain. The scouts themselves all piled into a 50-seater bus while I got in the back of Pablo's pickup with the food and a few of the caminantes (older scouts who participate in different activities).
The road to Jamao goes through San Victor and a up a montain to La Cumbre, a high village with some enticing little hotels and restaurants, from there, you follow a ridge for a couple of hours through a number of tiny communities clinging to steep slopes on either side that give way to spactacular mountainscape and awe-inspiring views. Just after we passed through a little settlement called Palo Roto, we descended a slope and doubled back 150 degrees onto a dirt road into an open valley. For a stretch, we followed a river and then, left the road and went through a hole in a barbed-wire fence into a broad pasture flanked by a strip of forest that enclosed the river. This was to be our campground.
Everyone marched in single file and broke into their various troops, proceeding to set up their tents and drape over them tarps to protect against rain. Late in the afternoon, they held opening ceremonies including a prayer and the raising of the Scout Group 8 flag and the Dominican Flag. At dusk everyone hopped into a shallow part of the river to bathe in the rain and then it was time for dinner. Strangely, at this point, I could barely keep my eyes open and so, retired to my tent before I had a chance to partake of the evening activity.